"Let the Kentuckians alone." [no title given in original]

Let the Kentuckians alone. In fighting they are equal to Hercules—for fun, the rivals of Momus—for the oddity of their blunders up to an Irishman in his best days.

About a week since a party of nine Kentuckians (not nine muses but the nine amusings) concluded they would take a look at this “little town,” and see if there was any fighting going on. There was none, and they, feeling very wolfish, concluded to play fist and fork on a dinner at one of our Hotels. The chaperon of this interesting crowd, had come down on a broadhorn about five days before the others, and was of course au fait in the matter of knowing mysterious streets—masked balls, and where the best whiskey was. He had also been present at the burning of the St. Louis Exchange, and seen a real iron pillar (pillow, as he termed it.) He then was elected leader of the band, and as a return for the honor shown, concluded like “Captain Rice” to give a treat. Dinner then was determined on, and at the sound of the gong the nine rushed into the dining-room, each fellow knocking down three of those who stood about bent on the same purpose—that made twenty-seven fellows whose stomachs cried no more for roast beef that day. Our nine Kentuckians then on being seated, found at least their share to eat among the vacant places on each side of them. The leader of this predatory band had oceans of money which he looked to as he sat down, and then crammed his greasy wallet back into his pocket.

“ How’s your money, Isaac?” said one of them.

“ Got piles and gobs,” says he, “call for your wine.” They did so—eat every thing far and near—feed two or three extra waiters—drank several bottles of wine--cleared out the cheese, oranges, raisins, pies, and all that belonged to a day dessert, and then our friend Isaac sang out,

“ Hollo here, waiter—oh waiter—bring us something to eat here—give us some dessert.”

“ What’el you have for dessert?” asked the waiter.

“ Oyster pie,” responded three or four.

Four or five pies were brought, which were swallowed with great gout.

“Bill now,” said Isaac.

The waiter judging from their precious tendencies that their appetites were not yet appeased handed the bill of fare.

Isaac could not read the French names on one side, and besides knew the price of an ordinary dinner, so he turned it over to look at the wines they had drank, and see the price. There he found Berryman—Lafitte—Golden Sherry, and Golden Madeira, besides Hock, and all the other thousand varieties—the price of each were carried out at the end of the line.

Isaac looked pale—much paler than sherry, when he ranged along and found this wine charged five dollars, and that one ten.

“ Whew—w—w,” said he with a whistle that would have killed a racoon on the top of a tall hickory, “ if this aint strong odor, I’ll be shot.”

“ What’s the matter?” said the other eight.

“ Let me see,” says Isaac, adding up the columns with his old wooden pencil, and carrying the ten on his fingers—“Four hundred and eight dollars for wine by G--."

“ We’ll fight out that amount,” roared the eight others.

“ Let’s go to the bar,” said Isaac—“I want to whip that fellow into snaketails.”

Down they went—the bar-keeper saw the joke, and kept them in mystery until there was some danger of his getting thrashed, and then explained. The actual cost of the dinner was twenty-five dollars. Isaac lightened up—paid it and sloped—the others saying [1] that Isaac was an “infernal smart feller” not to be able to tell a bill of fare from a fair bill.

Ib. Source: New York Spirit of the Times, 25 April 1840 (vol 10, no 8). p. 85. University of Virginia Alderman Library. Erin Bartels prepared this typescript. [1] Original text reads “sayin.”


Source: New York Spirit of the Times 10.8 (25 April 1840): 85. University of Virginia Alderman Library.

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript. [1] Original text reads “sayin.”

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